Submitted by member: Cassie
I’ve always heard that running can help my fitness but I don’t know how to get started. Can you help?
Answer by Robin
This is really a common question. Many people are intimidated at the thought of running. They think, “I’m not a runner” and without knowing how to get started, they just never go for that first run.
I like to have people start with running for time rather than distance. The thought of running a mile or more seems so daunting to most people that it’s counterproductive to the mental aspect of building a running base. Using time as your measure allows you to have structure that doesn’t feel like pressure.
Try this: Put on your running shoes*, set the timer on your watch or phone and head out. At first you should plan to do a combination of running and walking. Try running for about a minute then walking for about a minute or you can use landmarks, telling yourself, “I’m going to run to that street light up a head” or to the curve in the road or any other spot you feel that you can make it to. Head away from your starting point for 10 minutes then turn around and head back. It’s that simple.
Do this 20 minute run/walk 3 times a week for two weeks. I promise you’ll find yourself running more and walking less, maybe even running the whole time. As your ability to run increases, you can add more time or begin to track your mileage. The import thing is to get a physical and mental base first. (So much of running is mental.) With those things in place the possibilities are endless. Who knows, you just might find yourself signing up for a 10k in no time.
*Running shoes should be purchased 1/2 to a full size larger than your normal shoe size to allow for your feet to swell when you run. They come in a variety of different types of stability, helping to correct pronation (curving inward) or supination (curving outward) or neutral for someone who lands fairly evenly. Purchasing the right shoes for you is a huge part of having a good running experience.
If you’d like more personalized help, I offer virtual training to riders everywhere so I’d love to hear from you!
“A true horseman will only ask athletic feats of his horse if he has his own body under control.”
– from The Principals of Riding/German
National Equestrian Federation
Have Something You Want to Ask Our Panel of Experts?
Ask The Experts is the ultimate way to get help from the top professionals in the equestrian industry without leaving the comfort of your home. This service is available to Monthly, Annual and Lifetime Members of EquestrianCoach.com.
Robin and her husband Dionicio Martinez own Blackjack Farms, a beautiful and secluded 5+ acre ranch in North San Diego, with a very unique indoor/outdoor fitness facility. They have a well-equipped indoor gym, multiple permanent outdoor workout stations and a groomed running track. The fact that it's also the home of their show horses makes it truly one of a kind. There is also a limited amount of room for people to board their horses, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of a horse facility and fitness facility all in one. Robin has fitness clients that ride and riding clients who workout. Its a wonderful harmony, everybody is fit around there - horses and riders alike. Robin's focus is on establishing core strength and building a foundation of fitness for her clients. As a competing rider herself, she uses that experience to create fitness programs geared specifically for equestrians to help them gain the strength and mobility they need to be at the top of their game. Her style is positive, fun, encouraging and pleasantly tough. For more information on Blackjack Fitness please visit her website at www.blackjackfarmsandiego.com
Bernie shares an exercise for a member who asked for help encouraging her jumper to be more careful with its front end at verticals.
Equine Law expert Lisa Hollister, Esq sheds light on liability issues if a horse gets loose on a road and causes injury or death of a person and damage to a vehicle.